Riga Castle collector coin issued

The Latvian central bank, Latvijas Banka, has issued another in its ongoing series of collector coins, this time taking Riga's historic castle as its subject.

On Wednesday, 16 June, Latvijas Banka is issuing a new 5 euro silver collector coin called '500 Years of the Riga Castle' featuring the famous edifice's silhouette on the right bank of the Daugava, a characteristic feature of the Riga skyline over the centuries.

The graphic design has been created by Ivars Drulle, and Ilze Lībiete and the coin has been struck by Switzerland's mint Faude & Huguenin SA.

Unusually, the coin is square.

The obverse features the stone mouldings on the gateway of the Riga Convent showing the Madonna and Walter von Plettenberg, the Master of the Livonian Order; the reverse depicts a bird's-eye view of the stylised Riga Castle. 

The year 1515 is the accepted date for the construction of the Riga Castle to comply with the provisions of a capitulation treaty after defeat in a battle near Bukulti in 1491 and to recognise the rule of the Master of the Livonian Order and Archbishop of Riga, the citizens of Riga had to build a castle in place of the former residence of the Master of the Livonian Order, which they had torn down.

The Castle has been the residence of different rulers through centuries. Its outlines and appearance also changed over time.

After the armistice of Strazdumuiža (3 July 1919), the Latvian flag began to be flown from the tower of the Castle. The Prime Minister and the State Chancellery moved into the Castle, but in 1922 it became the residence of the President of Latvia. During the occupation period, some of the Castle space was turned over to the pioneer organisation, whereas since the summer of 1995, the Riga Castle once again became the residence of the President.

An important symbol of Latvia, the Riga Castle is marking its 500th anniversary with a fresh coat of paint and a silver collector coin dedicated to it by Latvijas Banka.

It also has a new roof after a catastrophic fire in 2013 got rid of the previous one. The cause remains a matter of conjecture.

Only 7,000 of the commemorative coins will be produced and as of 17 June, it will be on sale at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices (K. Valdemāra iela 1B in Riga and Teātra iela 3 in Liepāja) and such traditional points of sale as banks and souvenir and jewelry shops.

The price of the coin at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices is €41.07. 

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